Mészáros Lőrinc, former mayor of Orbán Viktor’s native village, bought a Dutch company based in Marghita. Mészáros has a gas installer profession, but in the last decade he has become one of the richest businessmen in Hungary, and now has bought Farmland Development SRL, thus gaining 1290 hectares of arable land in Romania. Mészáros bought the company with a registered capital of 24.6 million lei with 8.35 million euros. With this investment he became Hungary’s richest businessman, surpassing Sándor Csányi. According to the Hungarian opposition, Mészáros is Orbán’s puppet, and the Hungarian prime minister is the real owner of his fortune.
According to the data published on www.24.hu, Farmland Development’s sole owner was Van Den Heerik Agricola, which was founded in 2006 by the Dutch Hendrik Van Den Heerik and Huibers Van Den Heerik Neeltje Jacoba. Generally, Dutch investors are very active in land acquisition in Romania, along with Italian, German and Austrian. (After the business with Mészáros Van Den Heerik Agricola has not disappeared from the country, it is currently operating on a 600 hectare plot near Marghita.)
According to data collected by the Farmland portal, it was founded in 2015, with a minimum share capital of 200 lei, after the Dutch began to purchase agricultural land in Bihor County and Arad. With the acquisition of 1290 hectares of agricultural land, the company’s share capital increased by 5.2 million euros in 2016.
The question is, of course, whether the Dutch made the investments on their own or already knew that Mészáros will take over the land. According to a Farmland Development interview, they sold the land because “they are too far from Marghita” and were rented anyway, so the second option is more likely.
Therefore, the question arises whether he has bought land for Mészáros. It is certain that Van Den Heerik Agricola would have found land near Marghita, in which case it would have been eligible for EU aid as well. Those from the state agency that pays agricultural subsidies told us that Farmland Development was not even registered with them, meaning the Dutch did not even want to ask for EU support.
A Dutch company is not “eye-catching”
If Talentis Agro was Mészáros’s puppet, he did a very good job, a Dutch company was not “eye-catching” in Romania, when the emergence of a Hungarian investor buying hundreds of hectares of arable land would have raised the interest of the political and media spheres from Romania.
If Mészáros would sell the lands in the counties of Arad and Bihor tomorrow, it would have a profit of 1-1.5 million euros.